World of Concrete construction fair in Las Vegas, February 2015

World of Concrete construction fair in Las Vegas, February 2015

It is June 2015 now and it has been almost two years since I started working at Husqvarna Construction Products. Some people don’t know that Husqvarna Group also produces equipment for construction and demolition – but among the professionals in this area we are very often their first choice.

I’m from Belarus and moved to Sweden a couple of years ago. My first rotation was in Jonsered, Sweden, in product management and the second one in Olathe, USA, in sales. I then came back to Sweden and spent six months working with the Research and Development (R&D) team and now I am working in project management, which is also run from Jonsered. It’s only 15 minutes’ drive or train ride to Jonsered from Gothenburg, the second biggest city in Sweden, where I live.

In these two years I ’ve travelled the world (the program has brought me to Germany, France and many cities in USA and China) and worked with almost all of our construction products – floor saws, drill motors and stands, floor grinders, wall saws, power packs for high frequency machines etc.

The program has given me the opportunity to develop far beyond my original area of expertise. I didn’t go to business school – I have a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and MSc in Product Development. But during the program I have learned a lot about how global business operations are run, profitability, how and to whom we sell, and especially about the work of our customers – professional construction workers. They build and repair buildings, roads and bridges. Our products are also sold to rescue organizations as, for example, fire departments. The products make their hard job easier. I sincerely admire our customers and I am proud that I can contribute to making their – and ours, since all people use the same roads and bridges, and live in houses they build – lives better. This video pretty much sums this up.

Right now I work as a project manager on a development project of a new construction machine. I get to work with the project members from all the different functions – engineering, quality, purchasing, suppliers, production, testing, certification and product management. I get to see this complicated and very interesting process up close, participate in it and steer it. I am responsible for a lot of tasks, being a ‘spider in the web’ for all the different project members who are often situated on different sites in different cities or even countries.

After every big task I ask myself: what could I have done better and how can I improve? No day is like the other – one day I may be at a meeting discussing the pricing and the next in the testing facility running the machine on a concrete floor or wall. I’ve learned how to assemble and disassemble the machine, how the customer will use it, what the typical jobs are and how to do them efficiently; as well as what every function in the project does. I am responsible for the time plan and of how to move the project forward, while keeping track on quality and budget. This is very exciting and challenging.

I wouldn’t change this opportunity for anything else.

Katja Ivanova
Global Trainee Construction Equipment